This process of growth and evolution I am describing occurs in every cell and coordinates all biochemical and physiological changes in our body. If I eat a cherry, my digestive system perceives the change in its environment. It notices sugars, proteins, and other nutrients and minerals, and begins to adapt by secreting enzymes to digest the cherry. Once the cherry is digested, all the enzyme levels return to normal – it recovers. As you can see, this process occurs every moment of every day we are alive and it is this that sustains us and maintains our health.
As we learn, grow, and evolve, we can begin to make more conscious choices and decisions. The whole perception, adaptation, recovery, and evolution process can come under our conscious control. Rather than being a burst of unconscious organic, automatic, crisis-oriented, survival mechanisms, it becomes a conscious choice. We can begin perceiving change in our external environment before they occur, and consciously adapt to the situation in a healthy, less traumatic way. By noticing the subtle signs of the bear, I was able to make more conscious decisions and pass Step Five! I was able to express physically a mental or emotional intention.
In our scenario, I saw the signs of which I had learned through experience (claw marks, bear smell, fecal material, hairs, etc.), and mentally created an intention to prevent a similar trauma to that which I had experienced during the “mama bear incident.” I perceived the change on a more subtle level, consciously adapted by deciding what I needed to do, intending my body to do it, and my body physically expressed the intention. What begins to happen once we utilize this fifth attribute of health, to express physically a mental or emotional intention, is we begin to orchestrate our own internal changes, participating in our own healing process. Rather than allowing random, external changes in our environment to create these internal changes as crises, we take responsibility and take conscious action, growing and learning in the process.
As I began to learn more and more about the ecology and environment of the bear, I began to approach the bear with the intention of further observation and perhaps future harmonious interaction. Remember, the ”mama bear incident” is merely an analogy or parable so that you may begin to understand the seven attributes of health and the process of healing. This process occurs throughout our lives, every moment, in our cells, in our families, and in our world. As we continue to explore healing and all the many dimensions of health and dis-ease, you will see how these seven attributes interpenetrate all aspects of everything,including, not only health, but relationships, family, career, finance, politics, government, and world affairs.
As I observe the bears, at first from a distance, possibly following the same family of bears for many days over many miles, I travel with them, staying out of the line of sight, and smell, of the bear. I do not want this mother bear to perceive a change in her external environment that she must adapt to…namely me, a possible danger to her cubs. As I continue to travel at a distance for a number of days, she begins to detect my scent. Since I am at a safe distance away, she smells me, but does not see me. Slowly, I move a little closer each day until one day she can see me, yet, I am still far enough away that she does not see me as a threat.
I move closer and closer, building rapport with the creature, until one day we are standing in the same vale as twenty years ago, together, and she continues to frolic with her cubs. She watches me comfortably and does not attack. I am no longer a threat. She knows this because I took the time to build trust and familiarity. I am no longer a sudden change in the external environment that she must adapt to in an unconscious way in the manner of fight or flight. Earlier, when she attacked and chased me up the tree, she experienced the same internal changes as I had, increased blood pressure, dilated pupils, adrenaline rush, etc. She chose to fight…I chose flight. Since that experience, she too has undergone a process of learning and evolution so that she may now, as I, adapt in a conscious manner, making a choice to continue playing. What have we created here together over time? We have created a harmonious interaction, the sixth attribute of health, and indirectly, the seventh attribute of health… contentment. I passed Steps Six and Seven.
If this had been another human being, we could communicate through words or writing, as I am doing here with you, and share each other’s experience. By doing this you can learn and evolve without the need to experience the terror of being chased up the tree by a bear. You can simply learn through my experience, bypassing the unconscious experience of the first three steps. You can now notice the scratch marks and smell, without ever experiencing it yourself. If you are ever in the same situation, you can now create the necessary intention and tiptoe out of there just as I did, never having to experience such a traumatic adaptation from which to recover. This is what differs us from other animals. We have the ability to take conscious control over the first four Response Abilities – perception, adaptation, recovery and evolution.
This is the secret to maintaining health, inspiring healing, and achieving greater levels of evolution, growth, and life fulfillment, and this can be summed up in one word:
Responsibility is the key to all health, healing, evolution, growth, and fulfillment. It is the ability to perceive an external change in the environment before it happens, and then make a conscious choice to how your body and mind will respond. This is the meaning of A Clear Path to Healing. Health need not be an effort. Healing need not be the result of disease and trauma. Health can be easy and effortless. Healing can be an everyday process of discovery, learning, and evolution. By taking conscious control of our lives, and accepting responsibility, we can begin developing our seven Response Abilities and begin to achieve what we all really want: A more joyful, peaceful, love-filled and freer experience of life; and a fuller expression of who we are and the unique gifts and talents we each have to offer the world.
Adapted from an excerpt from the book, A Clear Path to Healing, by Dr. Barry S. Weinberg
With Love and Appreciation,